Wolf Pack Knock off AHL Leading Comets 2-1 in Utica
HARTFORD, CT - The Hartford Wolf Pack became just the second team to claim victory at the Adirondack Bank Center in Utica, New York in regulation this season on Saturday night. The Wolf Pack built a 2-0 lead on the road, then hung on for a 2-1 victory over the North Division's top team.
Mike O'Leary held the offensive zone at the near point early in the second period, keeping the pressure going for the Wolf Pack. O'Leary then centered a pass for Cristiano DiGiacinto, who tapped a backhand feed right onto the stick of Alex Whelan. Whelan walked down the far side, electing to shoot the puck from a sharp angle. The shot fooled Utica starter Mareks Mitens, sneaking in at the 6:44 mark to give Hartford a 2-0 lead.
For just the tenth time this season, the Wolf Pack opened the scoring. Justin Richards scored his third goal of the season at 11:45 of the hockey game to break the ice. Anthony Bitetto, playing in his 200th career AHL game, attempted a cross-ice pass intended for Ty Ronning. The pass redirected off Richards, finding its way into the net just seconds into Hartford's first powerplay of the night.
Hartford extended the lead to 2-0 6:44 into the middle frame thanks to Whelan's tally. The Wolf Pack also had a big penalty kill late in the frame following Jake Elmer's slashing infraction at the 12:13 mark. Adam Húska stood tall to keep the Pack up by a pair in his busiest period of the night. He was forced to make ten stops.
In the third period, the Comets were able to cut the deficit in half at the 4:14 mark on their third powerplay of the night. With Hunter Skinner in the penalty box for slashing, Frederik Gauthier deposited his third of the season by Húska. That was as close as the Comets got on this night, however.
Húska made numerous saves down the stretch, including one on Chase De Leo at the buzzer, to preserve Hartford's first victory of 2022. The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Pack and keeps them in third place in the Atlantic Division. Hartford is now 1-2-0-0 against the North Division this season.
The Pack is back at the XL Center on Wednesday, January 12th, when they host the Charlotte Checkers. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. and tickets are still available at www.hartfordwolfpack.com!
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American Hockey League Stories from January 8, 2022
- Iowa Drops Saturday Night Contest in Chicago, 6-2 - Iowa Wild
- Amerks Fall to Crunch - Rochester Americans
- Wolves Start New Streak - Chicago Wolves
- Griffins Extend Point Streak to Six Games - Grand Rapids Griffins
- Islanders Topple Checkers, 5-1 - Bridgeport Islanders
- Shepard, Bears Shut-Out Penguins, 3-0 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Crunch Defeat Amerks, 3-1 - Syracuse Crunch
- Shepard Sensational, Bears Blank Penguins 3-0 - Hershey Bears
- Wolf Pack Knock off AHL Leading Comets 2-1 in Utica - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Monsters Use Late Heroics to Topple Griffins in Overtime - Cleveland Monsters
- T-Birds Fall to Sens Under Controversial Circumstances - Springfield Thunderbirds
- Admirals Bitten by IceHogs - Milwaukee Admirals
- Comets Suffer Rare Home Loss to Wolf Pack, Lose 2-1 - Utica Comets
- Checkers' Return Spoiled with 5-1 Loss to Islanders - Charlotte Checkers
- Canucks Sign Forward and Defenceman to PTO's - Abbotsford Canucks
- Moose Recall Defenceman Dean Stewart - Manitoba Moose
- Anaheim Ducks Recall Five - San Diego Gulls
- Rangers Recall Lauri Pajuniemi, Anthony Greco to Taxi Squad - Hartford Wolf Pack
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- Checkers Sign Nick Albano and Blake Siebenaler to PTOs - Charlotte Checkers
- Wolf Pack Set to Clash with First Place Comets - Hartford Wolf Pack
- Millman and Ustimenko Reassigned to Reading - Lehigh Valley Phantoms
- Game Preview: Penguins at Bears, 7 p.m. - Hershey Bears
- Game #24: Colorado at Tucson - Tucson Roadrunners
- Islanders Host Checkers in Two Games this Weekend - Bridgeport Islanders
- IceHogs Look to Continue High-Scoring Attack against Admirals Tonight - Rockford IceHogs
- Game Preview: January 8 at Hershey - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
- Abby Earns Point But Falls to Condors in OT 4-3 - Abbotsford Canucks
- Dostal, Gulls Break through against Stockton - San Diego Gulls
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